In his time with the Dallas Mavericks, Donald Hodge was a fan favorite who contributed off the bench, despite not achieving many accolades in the league.
His basketball career began while attending Coolidge Senior High School in Washington D.C. He joined the school’s basketball team and excelled at the sport. In his senior year he was named a third-team Parade All-American.
In college, Hodge played basketball at Temple University. In his first year on the team, he played in all 31 games and averaged 15.1 points per game (PPG), 8.2 rebounds per game (RPG), 0.7 assists per game (APG), 0.8 steals per game (SPG), and 0.7 blocks per game (BPG). The Owls finished first in the Atlantic 10 Conference with a 17-10 regular-season record and qualified for the NCAA tournament as the No. 11 seed in the East Region. They were promptly eliminated in the first round by the No. 6 seed, St. John’s University. They finished the season with a 20-11 record.
The following year Hodge averaged 11.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, and 0.9 BPG while appearing in all 34 games. The team finished the regular season with a 20-8 record, second in the Atlantic 10 Conference, and qualified for the NCAA tournament as the No. 10 seed in the East Region. The Owls made it all the way to Elite Eight before getting eliminated by the No. 1 seed, the University of North Carolina.
Welcome to the NBA
Hodge was selected 33rd overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1991 NBA Draft. In his first season with the team, he played in 51 games while getting the opportunity to start in 27 of them. He averaged 8.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 0.5 BPG. It was the only season in which he started more games than he came off the bench.
In his second year with the team, his playing time lowered as he only started in 8 of the 79 games he appeared in. He averaged 5.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.4 SPG, and 0.5 BPG for the season. This began his time of being a bench player in the league.
His playing time would continue to dwindle in his third year in the league as he played in 50 games all off the bench and his minutes per game (MPG) was cut almost in half from the previous year, going from 16.0 MPG to 8.6 MPG. He managed to average 2.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.3 SPG, and 0.3 BPG.
In his fourth year with the team, Hodge played in 54 games, all off the bench. There was a minimal improvement from the previous year as he averaged 3.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.2 SPG, and 0.3 BPG. In December 1995, in the middle of the season, he was arrested for possession of marijuana but was not punished by the Mavericks or the NBA since it did not go against the NBA’s drug policy.
The Mavericks kept Hodge for a fifth season even though he rode the bench for a majority of the season, as he only played in 15 games. In those 15 games, he averaged 1.2 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.1 SPG, and 0.5 BPG. At this point in his career, Hodge was mostly relied upon for moral support rather than his playing ability, and he became a favorite among Mavs fans because of his tenure on the team.
The following year he played in 13 games with the team before getting waived mid-season in February. In his 13 games with the team that year he averaged 1.4 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.1 SPG, and 0.6 BPG.
The Charlotte Hornets signed Hodge to a 10-day contract four days later, on February 23, 1996. He played two games with the team where he put up 0.5 RPG. When his contract with the Hornets ran out, so did his NBA career.
While on the Mavericks, Hodge averaged 4.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.3 SPG, and 0.4 BPG. He began his tenure with the Mavs as a useful bench piece that could put up some points and help on defense. By the end of his time in Dallas, he proved to be a valuable member of the bench, as he boosted team morale.
After the NBA
Hodge played one season with a Belgian team, Power Wevelgem, in 1999.
In 2011, he was sentenced to five years for conspiring to distribute drugs.
Hodge was the type of player who would motivate his team to succeed and was a valuable bench piece. The Mavs fans appreciated his contributions to the team. His career wasn’t as successful as one had hoped and his personal life also suffered in later years.
Categories: Mavs Fans For Life